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Tipsheet

Was ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi Killed in US Airstrike?

Numerous reports have emerged in recent days claiming that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. airstrike.  However, the Pentagon cannot confirm Mideast reports that he was killed or severely wounded in an airstrike on Sunday in Syria, a U.S. defense spokesman said Wednesday.

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"We don't have any confirmation of that," Army Col. Chris Garver said.  "We didn't strike in Raqqa that day. We can't confirm one way or the other" but "if we get an opportunity to get him, we will take it."

However, some reports claim that ISIS may be covering up the death of Baghdadi in an effort to maintain morale. 

Baghdadi, born to a lower-class Sunni family in 1971 in Samarra, Iraq, claims to be a descendant of  Muhammad. 

He carries himself notably different than Osama bin Laden, who would often appear in videos waging war against the Western world.  His only appearance came during an Islamic propaganda video last summer, when he led a sermon in a mosque in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

A bounty of $10 million has reportedly been set on his head. 

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